"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."
- Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown
And so, another month is almost over. A month of unwelcome heat (for me), the ground becoming bone hard, flowers quickly going over; dragging the hosepipe up to the top of the garden to quench the thirst of the vegetables; the countryside parched; July, as you may have guessed, is not my favourite month. Now, thankfully, it has turned a little cooler and is more bearable.
But there have been upsides. An unexpected tea party in the garden; meeting up with a friend I haven't seen for a while; a birthday celebration meal getting together with a coterie of friends to laugh and chat and catch up on news. My circle of friends isn't large - but I have managed to see them all in the last week.
I realised that occasionally I need these things - contact with the world beyond the garden gate. Left to my own devices I would become reclusive and hermit-like and I do need other people to bring me out of myself, even if I groan inwardly at the prospect!
When it is hot it feels good to be by the water; watching life drifting by brings a feeling of peace and calm.
Sometimes, at home I sit outside and stare, not thinking, my mind a blank, letting go of all thoughts. Other times I sit and notice everything; two sparrows coming down to the pond to drink and bathe; a bee tumbling in and out of the nasturtiums by the door; a butterfly at rest on the kitchen windowsill.
I leave the garden to its own devices, it has taken advantage of my neglect and laziness and turned into a flowery wilderness, it may look a mess but the bees and hoverflies are indulging themselves busily every day. I notice them while I am picking sweet peas and harvesting beans and courgettes. I have squash plants flinging their octopus arms hither and thither, trying to take over the world, or their little part of it - it all looks lush and productive, and I close my eyes to the weeds and disorder.
I wonder what August will bring, hopefully more time to read. I began The History of Love by Nicole Krauss this morning - this is a passage from the first chapter:-
"Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was Queen and he was King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark they parted with leaves in their hair."It looks promising - I think I am going to enjoy reading this book.